Things to do in
Chinatown, San Francisco

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Our most recommended things to do in Chinatown, San Francisco

San Francisco: Alcatraz Tour w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Ticket

1. San Francisco: Alcatraz Tour w/ 2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Ticket

See the best of San Francisco with this combined hop-on-hop-off ticket and Alcatraz Island visit. Explore the island of Alcatraz and enjoy 2 days of sightseeing with insightful commentary from a live guide. Tour the famous prison that has played a role in jailhouse folklore and the historic evolution of the West Coast. Learn more about the 14 unsuccessful escape attempts by over 30 prisoners and their fates. Your Premium Big Bus hop-on-hop-off pass is a great way to see the sights of San Francisco. Listen to commentary by live English-speaking guides, or enjoy pre-recorded audio commentary in 10 languages. Your 2-day ticket includes a full day of unlimited hop-on-hop-off and a 1-hour panoramic night tour. Explore one of San Francisco's most fascinating neighborhoods on a fun and informative walking tour of Chinatown. The tours are offered daily, and you can ask an agent for locations and time schedules. Also included are a bonus 1-hour bike rental (with the purchase of a 1-hour rental) and Players Arcade Drink and Game Tokens. Hop-on, hop-off tour stops include: Stop 1: Corner of Jefferson & Mason StreetStop 2: Holiday Inn Northpoint b/w Jones & ColumbusStop 3: Washington Square - Columbus & Union StreetsStop 4: Embarcadero Center - Corner Clay & Battery StreetsStop 5: Ferry Building - Market St b/w Stuart & Spear StreetsStop 6: Union Square South - Geary St across from Macy’sStop 7: Hilton Hotel - Corner Mason & Ellis StreetsStop 8: Civic Center - Fulton St b/w Larkin & Hyde StreetsStop 9: Alamo Square - Corner Fell & Pierce StreetsStop 10: Haight Ashbury - Haight & Shrader StreetsStop 11: Golden Gate Park - Music Concourse Drive Golden Gate ParkStop 12: Golden Gate Bridge- North Vista PointStop 13: Palace of Fine Arts - Richardson & Francisco StreetStop 14: Marina Neighborhood - Lombard & Fillmore StreetsStop 15: Lombard Street Corridor - Lombard & Gough StreetsStop 16: Union Square North - Post & Powell StreetsStop 17: Chinatown Gate - Grant and Bush StreetsStop 18: Portsmouth Square - Kearny & Clay StreetsStop 19: Pier 35 Cruise Terminal - The EmbarcaderoStop 20: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf (then return to Stop 1)

San Francisco Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

2. San Francisco Chinatown Culinary Walking Tour

Explore the largest Chinatown outside Asia on a 3-hour food tour of San Francisco's Chinatown, and discover a maze of alleys off Grant Avenue and Stockton Street, where traditional techniques that date back centuries are still practiced. See food markets and local restaurants, with a surprise around every corner. Watch artisans making Fortune Cookies by hand, and enliven your senses with new flavors, smells, and aromas. Your guide will help you search out authentic crafts and pottery, explore exotic produce, and learn about herbs and teas from the very people who know them best. Uncover the hidden secrets that only intrepid locals know about. As you taste and see everything from Dim Sum to fortune cookies, teas, incredible antiquities, rare and unique musical instruments, and authentic cookware, you'll know you've really experienced Chinatown. Marvel at statuettes and ritual objects that are literally thousands of years old. Visit a music center where you'll see musical instruments you've never seen before. Try different types of Dim Sum from the oldest Chinese bakery in San Francisco. Go to one of the city's oldest cathedrals, and look inside a Buddhist temple.

San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

3. San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown & Bay Cruise

Start your tour near the Ferry Building with a view of what was once one of the busiest ports in the world. Then catch an iconic San Francisco cable car from a favorite stop and learn what makes this very unique public transport so special. Disembark atop Nob Hill and learn about the industrial tycoons who built the city as you wander through Huntington Park. Visit the beautiful gothic interior of Grace Cathedral. Enter the bustling neighborhood of Chinatown, the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia and the oldest Chinatown in North America. Taste fresh fortune cookies and see hidden landmarks like the Tin How Buddhist Temple as you learn how the neighborhood went from being a seedy red-light district to one of the most vibrant enclaves in the city. For a little treat, pop into the legendary Golden Gate Factory for an insight into the art (and logistics) of fortune cookie making. Receive a special custom-made cookie to take home. That’s not the end of the delicious snacks either - you'll also get advice on where to eat if you want to come back to try the world-famous dim sum. Then, visit Lombard Street, called the "most crooked street in the world", Fisherman's Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square. See Fisherman’s Wharf, explore the old docks, and smell the fresh bread in the famous Boudin Bakery. Your tour will also pause at Ghirardelli Square for a sample of famous chocolate. After this, continue on to your final highlight of the day - a gorgeous bay cruise of the historic waterfront. Relax and tune into the included audio device to hear some fascinating tales. Admire beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline in every direction and sail past the famous Pier 39 sea lions, right under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island (the closest you can get without booking a ticket). A perfect end to a San Francisco day.

San Francisco: 6-Hour City and Muir Woods Tour

4. San Francisco: 6-Hour City and Muir Woods Tour

Meet the tour operator outside Fisherman’s Wharf. After a brief roll call board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity, and geography of the area. Exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration of the area.  Stops include San Francisco's famous China Town and Little Italy. There will be several amazing photo opportunities including two stops to view the Golden Gate Bridge. Other areas of interest include Tenderloin, a neighborhood central to the local art scene, and Haight Ashbury the birthplace of the "Summer of Love." You will also spend over an hour in the majestic Muir Woods Redwood National Park admiring the redwoods. Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to enjoy lunch in the Mediterranean atmosphere of the Sausalito waterfront. 

San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Ferry & Alcatraz Tour

5. San Francisco: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus with Ferry & Alcatraz Tour

Get a huge amount of choice for sightseeing in San Fransisco in one go—access to the hop-on hop-off city tour route, a special night tour, and tickets to the Alcatraz Island for a self-guided audio tour of the notorious prison.  Audio guides are available in a variety of languages but the hop-on hop-off tour is only available in English. With open double-decker buses and a guide on each one, you can see just about everything and learn just as much. You can get to all the most famous spots in the city, and 48 hours is enough time to go back and visit your favorites again. Official City Loop highlights include:• The Palace of Fine Arts• North Vista Point where you can take photos of Golden Gate Bridge• Golden Gate Park where you can enjoy the Japanese Tea Gardens• Haight-Ashbury district• San Francisco Downtown, Chinatown• The Civic Center• The Embarcadero• Fisherman’s Wharf• Barbary Coast• The Financial District and the Ferry Building The 90-Minute Night Tour covers many of the attractions on the other routes, but with a whole new perspective. It is not hop-on hop-off and departs from Fisherman’s Wharf at 18:30 all year round with additional departures during the summer months.

GPS Talking Tour Cars: Chinatown/Downtown Loop

6. GPS Talking Tour Cars: Chinatown/Downtown Loop

Take a GPS-guided tour in the Storytelling Car® and see for yourself why TIME Magazine called GoCar "The Most Amazing Invention of the Year!" Let GoCar be your guide through an exciting loop of San Francisco's Chinatown and Downtown. GoCar, The Cure for the Common Tour®, lets you experience the beauty of San Francisco and visit places tour busses cannot go – all at your own pace! Fold up your map, put away the guidebook and let the GoCar show you what most visitors never see! Zip around in a cute, yellow Storytelling GoCar as it takes you on your own GPS-guided tour. The GoCar is easy and fun to drive. Since it is GPS-guided, the car knows where you are – even if you don’t. With you in the driver’s seat, it not only tells you where to turn, it tells the stories that bring the city to life. Let the car direct you, or for those more adventurous, blaze your own trail! Your tour’s length may vary due to circumstances such as departure time and location, traffic and your itinerary. If you do take additional rental time, this will be billed in 15-minute increments at our retail rates. You may visit all or some of the tour’s highlights. If you are unsure of which tour to book, just book according to the amount of time you think you would like to spend. We can customize a tour especially for you, with the sights you want to include, when you come into our shop. PRICING IS PER VEHICLE NOT PER PERSON. EACH VEHICLE SEATS 2 PEOPLE. GoCar Tours, a CarbonNeutral® Company Gocar Tours is certified CarbonNeutral® by offsetting all CO2 emissions from vehicle operations, electricity use, business travel and employee commuting across global operations in Europe and the United States.

San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

7. San Francisco: Alcatraz Tickets and Chinatown Walking Tour

Explore the bustling streets of San Francisco's Chinatown on a guided walking tour and try some fortune cookies. Take the ferry to Alcatraz Island for an audio-guided tour of the notorious prison. Begin your day with a local guide near the Dragon Gate of San Francisco's beloved Chinatown. Weave through time and space down the main street for a walking tour through a neighborhood lined with dragon lanterns, imperial terracotta statues, and all the adornment of a "Little Shanghai." Hear the stories of the former streets and alleys — how it came to be and the more seedy aspects of its Gold Rush foundations. Discover how the neighborhood has transformed over the decades. See neighborhood landmarks including Waverly Place and St. Mary’s Cathedral. Stop into a traditional apothecary featuring fascinating Chinese medicine. Snack on some fresh fortune cookies, a San Francisco invention, and take some home for the road (on us!). After your Chinatown tour, head out for lunch on your own into 2 incredible foodie neighborhoods. Your guide will set you up to find all the "locals only" spots and provide you with an easy map so you can enjoy San Francisco's eclectic cuisine options. After lunch, make your way to Alcatraz where your guide will give you all the insider information on how best to make the most of your time on the island. On the ferry ride, take in views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. Explore the infamous Alcatraz prison, accompanying your visit with an award-winning audio guide.

San Francisco: Chinatown Walking Food Tour

8. San Francisco: Chinatown Walking Food Tour

Don’t fall for the culinary tourist traps when you’re in San Francisco. With this food tours of San Francisco, you can experience an irresistible food tour in the cultural hots pot of Chinatown. Explore the remarkable and historic ethnicity, culture and foods that define Hong Kong and mainland China. Taste authentic Cantonese, Mandarin and Szechuan cuisine from five Chinese owned and operated restaurants, food establishments and ethnic bakeries. Your expert foodies have done extensive and delicious research to offer you the ultimate Chinatown food tour. The tastes, traditions, and old-world class of these landmark establishments are a true San Francisco experience. Let us tease your taste buds with the sweet and savory flavors of delectable authentic Chinese cuisine. This 3-hour Chinatown tour includes flavorful food specialties served from five of the following places: • New Hollywood Bakery and Restaurant: Light and buttery buns filled with barbecue-flavored cha siu pork • Bund Shanghai: Traditional Shanghai-style cuisine • Grant Place: A local favorite known for Hong Kong style dim sum and Chinese specialties • Hunan House: The distinctive flavors of Hunan cuisine • AA Bakery & Café: Freshly made Hong Kong style egg tarts cooked to a smooth flan-like perfection with a buttery and flaky crust • Z&Y Restaurant: Chef Han has grown in reputation by preparing food for presidents and foreign ministers of the people’s republic of China Behind every great food establishment in this city there is an equally great story of history, tradition and even innovation. On this Chinatown food tour, you’ll discover these amazing histories while tasting what has made these Chinese restaurants and bakeries so prized among locals.

San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

9. San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

Take a small-group day trip by bus around San Francisco. See the Golden Gate Bridge, spend time at the Muir Woods National Monument, and enjoy lunch in picturesque Sausalito. Meet outside Fisherman’s Wharf at your chosen tour time. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the bus and travel to your first stop. Over the next 6 hours you’ll be treated to stories about the neighborhoods, diversity and geography of the area. You will exit the bus at several stops for photo opportunities and exploration, enjoying lunch in Sausalito and then spending over an hour in the beautiful Muir Woods National Monument. At the end of your amazing adventure, you’ll be dropped off at the same location where you boarded the bus.  Here are the places you will explore (photo stops noted by *): • Fisherman's Wharf - One of San Francisco's most popular destinations. From beautiful old shipyards to Boudin's Bakery and the smell of fresh clam chowder, Fisherman's Wharf has it all • Chinatown - Boasting the largest Chinatown in the United States, this 24-block mecca is bustling with energy, amazing food, and unique shops that give this area its charm • North Beach - Voted as one of the USA's ten great neighborhoods, North Beach is best known as the home of Little Italy. From delicious restaurants to authentic sidewalk cafes and bakeries, you will feel the charm of San Francisco as soon as you arrive • Pacific Heights* - Offering one of the most scenic outlooks in all of Northern California, Pacific Heights is home to Billionaire's Row, featuring the estates of politicians, tech titans and other San Francisco celebrities  • Presidio - Former military base, now a beautiful park that includes Crissy Field, Fort Point, Lucasfilm's headquarters and the Walt Disney Museum • Golden Gate Bridge - Declared "one of the 10 wonders of the modern world," the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco • Muir Woods* - Muir Woods National Monument is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful trees in the world. Many consider this stop to be the highlight of their trip. The National Monument entry fee is an additional expense to the paid on the day. • Fort Point* - Located just beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point gives you a front-row seat to the Bay and is a great photo stop. This former military fortification was used during WWII • Sausalito* - Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge, this artistic enclave has the setting and beauty of a European Mediterranean town. Enjoy your lunch on the San Francisco Bay • Lombard Street - All tour buses and vans are prohibited from going near Lombard Street, but you can be dropped close by at the end of the tour.

San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

10. San Francisco: 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City and Night Tour

Explore San Francisco with a 1-day ticket, that includes two most popular hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tours. You can hop on and off the bus at any of the designated stops to explore all the major sights of San Francisco at your own pace. The Official City Tour - Hop On, Hop Off This 2 hour tour provides the best views of San Francisco's Downtown, Union Square, The Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park from a Double Decker Bus. Be sure to bring your camera, there will be plenty of photo opportunities to commemorate your visit to the city by the bay.  Official City Tour Highlights: Ghirardelli Square – Over 40 shops and restaurants, including the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop, world famous for its ice cream sundaes. Palace of Fine Arts – Built for the World Fair has been a favorite wedding location for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Also a popular location for many festival celebrations, orchestras and events. Golden Gate Bridge – A great place to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge or visit the Presidio and its former Military establishments Golden Gate Park – An exciting place to visit a number of museums and attractions such as The Conservatory of Flowers, The California Academy of Sciences and The deYoung Museum. Haight/Ashbury – More commonly known as the “Hippie District”, Haight maintains the Summer of Love feel with its numerous shops and murals dedicated to the 1960’s. City Hall – Great photo opportunities of the San Francisco City Hall structures near to the Opera House, Symphony Hall and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Union Square – The central shopping district in San Francisco, featuring Macy’s, Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, and hundreds of other major retailers. Fisherman’s Wharf – Located on the northern waterfront, this area is best known for Pier 39 (shopping, restaurants, sea lions and much more), San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Cannery Shopping Center, Alcatraz Landing, and many other attractions. San Francisco Night Tour This live narrated bus tour shows you the most vibrant neighborhoods of the city at night. Enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco from the top of a double decker bus from Treasure Island. The tour will be led by knowledgeable guides, to make your evening in San Francisco unforgettable.

Frequently asked questions about Chinatown, San Francisco

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What people are saying about Chinatown, San Francisco

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 716 reviews

I loved the tour. There were 6 of us on the tour, all lovely people and our tour guide Maggi was amazing. Though the tour involves a lot of walking, she had it planned around with breaks and short rides so we never really felt exhausted. She was super knowledgable and hand an answer for every question we asked her. She shared info on the best places to grab a bite, showed us a really delicious fortune cookie shop, gave us tips on where to sit on rides, etc. Pretty much, everything you would want in a tour guide and more

Maggie, our guide was wonderful and so informative. Nothing was rushed and we had plenty time to explore each of our day’s locations. It was great the we could take a ride on either a Cable car or Street car to take the strain out of get up to the top of the steep streets like Nob hill and Russian hill. After our walk and ride around downtown San Francisco we were provided with the boat trip tickets to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.

The best part of our trip! We loved learning the history from Casey, and the food was absolutely delicious. I physically could not fit enough of the food in my stomach and would have died trying. Don’t miss!

The tour gave us a great look around San Francisco and it was very easy to find and get on and off.

Ted was fantastic, I learned some surprising new things, good was great.